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Kedarnath (Hindi Movie)
Film: Kedarnath
Genre: Romance-Drama
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sara Ali Khan, Pooja Gor, Nitish Bharadwaj
Direction: Abhishek Kapoor
Written by: Abhishek Kapoor and Kanika Dhillon
Duration: 2 hours
Language: Hindi (U/A)
Critic’s Rating: 3/5

Mansoor (Sushant), a reserved pithoo (porter), helps pilgrims make the gruelling uphill journey to the Kedarnath shrine. On one of his numerous trips, his path crosses that of Mandakini aka Mukku (Sara). Familial disapproval and contrasting backgrounds (he is a Muslim, she is a Hindu) prove to be natural obstacles as they grow close and the young couple is eventually torn apart. The devastating floods of 2013 just add to their woes. Will Mukku and Mansoor live happily after? Well... 

Abhishek Kapoor’s Kedarnath is important on three levels. Foremost, it is the launch vehicle of an extraordinarily-talented star kid. And the filmmaker does full justice to her. As the protagonist, every line in the script supports her. In turn, Sara Ali Khan shines. It is hard to believe that this is her first film because she is so spectacular. Her looks and her dialogue delivery have you rooting for her. And when she is not on screen, it seems like the sun is hiding behind the clouds.

The second aspect of Kedarnath is the love story between two youngsters who belong to opposing castes and religions. Now, this aspect is poorly sketched with absolutely no surprises. Whether it is the boy getting beaten up or the girl’s parents throwing a flaming fit, all aspects have a sense of déjà vu. The conflict is there, but it is not enough to evoke more than a certain degree of emotion. You shed a couple of tears, but they dry up soon enough and you are back to just going with the flow.

The third aspect of this story is the backdrop of the 2013 Uttarakhand deluge in which 5,000 lives were lost and 70,000 pilgrims, as well as locals, went missing. In all fairness, Abhishek, who is a sensitive director, has stayed true to the story. He has used a lot of VFX to capture the calamity, making the viewer feel fear and despair at a few junctures. However, the flood scenes dominate such a large part of the second half that a pall of gloom descends on the audience.

Seeing nature unleash terror and devastation is okay for a docudrama. However, having gone into Kedarnath to watch a young, passionate love story, this aspect is too disturbing. Also, it takes away from the fact that you have a beautiful 23-year-old who is being serenaded by a talented actor like Sushant. But the only images you carry back with you are those of dark clouds and foreboding skylines.

The vivacity and vigour of lovers making fervent promises and “we-will-live-happily” hits a speed breaker. Of course, the climax has something different to offer (which one cannot reveal). But having said that, the film needed to up the entertainment quotient to a large degree.

Of the talent, Sara steals the show. She is a superstar on the rise, who is honest with her work. Sushant is game to complement her without displaying any ego. Seeing a love story set against the backdrop of a calamity like this, one can’t help being reminded of the Hollywood blockbuster, Titanic (1997). While the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet romance-drama was made on a humongous scale, the makers of Kedarnath haven’t compromised on the scale of their comparatively lesser-budgeted Sushant-Sara prem kahaani.

Tushar Kanti Ray’s cinematography beautifully captures the many colours of the temple town, and Sanjay Kumar Choudhary has aptly recreated Kedarnath for the flood sequences. Composer Amit Trivedi sets the mood of the movie with Namo Namo in the opening scenes and delivers with his creations like Sweetheart and Qaafirana.

Verdict: Watch Kedarnath for the spunky and spirited Sara Ali Khan. A star is born.

Source: dnaindia.com

Kedarnath | Official Teaser | Sushant Singh Rajput | Sara Ali Khan | Abhishek Kapoor | 7th December